Why airlines didn’t avoid risky Ukraine airspace
Some airlines had already changed their routes.
Australia’s Qantas stopped flying over Ukraine several months ago and shifted its London-Dubai route 645 kilometers (400 miles) to the south. A spokeswoman declined to explain the change. Korean Air said it rerouted cargo and passenger flights in early March as the situation in Crimea deteriorated.
Beyond Ukraine, Emirates recently stopped flying over parts of Syria as a civil war expanded. Some airlines have curtailed service in Iraq, where violence has escalated between the government and a jihadist militant group. The FAA has current warnings about flying over parts of Iran, Yemen, Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, North Korea and other countries.
Last month, a gunman in Pakistan fired on a jetliner that was landing in Peshawar, part of the country’s volatile northwest region, killing a passenger and wounding two other people. Emirates suspended flights to Peshawar, and other carriers canceled some flights while they reviewed airport security. Two weeks before that, gunmen attacked the country’s busiest airport in Karachi.
Sagar Meghani in Washington, John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.